Forensic Psychology: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives - SP637

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR E Alleyne


For students not registered on an undergraduate programme of study with the School of Psychology, before taking this module, you must take PSYC3040 (SP304) Introduction to Psychology I OR PSYC3050 (SP305) Introduction to Psychology II OR PSYC3060 (SP306) Introduction to Forensic Psychology.





This module offers an in-depth examination of theory and application of forensic psychology to the criminal justice system. It examines: law development; types of offending e.g. street gangs and factors associated with becoming criminal; police and forensic profilers’ responses to offending; eyewitness credibility and the police interview process; the credibility of juries; sentence construction for offenders; the aims of punishment and prisoners’ responses to imprisonment; theories of rehabilitation and the implementation of the sex offender treatment programme. The module considers the role of forensic psychology in identifying and ameliorating offending behaviour. It presents and critically evaluates research and methodologies within forensic psychology. You will be encouraged to critique the literature and methodologies to further your understanding of the core forensic issues the course presents.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

11 two-hour lectures

Method of assessment

70% coursework essay assignment (3,000 words); 30% multiple choice examination.

(NB: In the case of short-term exchange students whose registration ends before the summer term, the examination may be replaced by a single piece of coursework of increased length.)

Indicative reading

Davies, G., Forensic Psychology. Wiley, 2008.
Stephenson, G.M., The Psychology of Criminal Justice. Blackwell, 1992 [especially chapters 6 - 12].
Blackburn, R., The Psychology of Criminal Conduct : Theory, research and practice. Wiley, 1995.
Howitt, D., Introduction to Forensic and Criminal Psychology, 3rd Edition. Pearson, 2009.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the practical role played by contemporary forensic psychologists in society
1.2 Demonstrate critical knowledge of forensic psychology as a discipline and research methods used within forensic psychology
1.3 Demonstrate an awareness of the fundamental application of psychology, as a science, to understand key forensic issues
1.4 Understand key concepts and sub-topics within forensic psychology and how they relate to each other (i.e., ability to synthesise core concepts within forensic psychology)
1.5 Evaluate core theories and research in forensic psychology

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

2.1 Understand the variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used in psychology
2.2 Self-reflect upon constructive feedback from staff in order to improve understanding and academic performance
2.3 Use learning and research skills required to support academic learning and development independently.
2.4 Effectively apply skills in the form of study planning and overall time management
2.5 Demonstrate information technology skills to obtain key learning resources (e.g., use of online journals and learning resources as directed by lecturers).

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.